Small changes to your diet and eating patterns can make an enormous difference to your energy levels

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Leading an active lifestyle can be very rewarding in terms of health, but remember that a healthy diet is also important. To get the best out of an active lifestyle you must ensure that you have a healthy and balanced diet.
 
If you often feel sluggish then what you eat may not be sufficiently fuelling your body. Making small changes to your diet or your eating patterns may help increase your energy levels.
 
Here are nine ways to fuel your body:
 
Include carbohydrates in your diet. Eat foods made of whole grains such as whole wheat bread and brown rice. Avoid sugary sources of carbohydrates, which merely provide a temporary energy boost followed by a sharp decline.
 
Incorporate lean meats into your diet. Meats such as pork, beef, skinless chicken and turkey provide nutrients that can help you feel more alert.
 
Eat foods rich in fibre such as beans, whole fruits and vegetables. Fibre slows digestion and provides a steady supply of energy.
 
Eat nuts that provide magnesium such as cashews, almonds and hazelnuts.
 
Include foods that contain iron, such as red meat, green vegetables, whole grain breads, legumes and nuts.
 
Eat breakfast every morning. Eat frequent meals to stabilise your blood sugar and energy levels.
 
Eat small meals and healthy snacks every three to four hours. Snacks such as peanut butter and whole grain crackers will boost blood sugar and energy.
 
Drink lots of water and unsweetened beverages to combat low energy levels.
 
Do not wait until you are thirsty to hydrate. Fresh fruits and vegetables also help hydrate the body.

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